Sunday, September 25, 2011

Not Quite Autumn, Online Health Records

Sunday, September 25, 2011. I was out, as usual, grilling burgers after church today. It's been one of those picture-postcard days, except the autumn colors haven't quite come yet.

Clear sky, sunshine, trees not quite showing autumn colors yet. September 25, 2011.

Hey! This is cool: The Sauk Centre Herald says that CentraCare Clinic - Sauk Centre ( (that used to be Lakeview Medical Clinic) has medical records available on their website. You're supposed to be able to access yours and your children's, to get information like immunization records and medical history. I haven't tried it yet.

Or, rather, I haven't filled out the paperwork: which the article tells me I could do over at Lakeview, or at The CentraCare Clinic - Sauk Centre's "Online Health Information" menu gets visitors to a sort of newsletter with general information.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Three P.M. Rush Hour, Autumnal Weather, and Yet More Storm Photos

Sunday, September 18, 2011. The weekday afternoon rush out of school is part of my life again. Or, rather, part of my life's backdrop. That time of day, I'm generally at my desk, occasionally glancing out the window to see what the horn honking or tire screeching is about.

For some reason, there isn't so much of a concentrated stream of traffic going toward the school each morning.

That July 10 storm left quite an impression on Sauk Centre: figuratively and literally. I still see the occasional tilted stump. For the most part, though, folks here have cleared debris, patched sidewalks, and gotten back to life's routines.

Since I haven't been out much this week, and still have quite a few photos of storm damage: Today's entry is mostly pictures from July.

The AmericInn sign post and frame, near Main and the Interstate, weathered the storm fine. The sign, not so much: it's the tattered banner clinging to the frame. July 20, 2011.

Our birdbath works just fine, and looks a bit like the old-fashioned concrete sort: but it's a plastic shell. I put quite a lot of sand in the post, to make it stable, and let gravity and a friction fit take care of the bowl. The birdbath's bowl flew away during the July storm.

I looked around the yard, and the front yards of the neighbors, but didn't spot it. Given what I'd seen the storm do elsewhere, I figured that lightweight plastic bowl was somewhere in northwestern Stearns County. Or southern Todd.

As I recall, a bit over a week later, the birdbath bowl showed up on our yard, near the street. Someone must have spotted it at their place, worked out where it came from, and returned the thing.


Birdbath bowl's back. July 20, 2011.

More photos, from late July, 2011:

The little Marian shrine's pretty much undamaged. The debris is mostly pieces of trees that were cut into manageable lengths. July 25, 2011.

Jitters Java put a rather showy branch in their sign, sort of like a table's centerpiece. This photo shows what it looked like, shortly before they took it out. The branch, I mean. The sign's still there. July 25, 2011.

Gopher Prairie Motel's sign shows why it's a good idea to stay under cover during this sort of storm. July 25, 2011.

Today's been a seasonally-appropriate gray, rainy, cool autumn day. I stayed inside as much as possible. I never did see the charm in taking strolls in the rain. Maybe because my glasses tended to fog up.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2011: Drought in Texas, Clear Skies in Minnesota, Life Goes On

Sunday, September 11, 2011. School has started, so the regular mid-afternoon rush down South 9th to Ash is part of the daily schedule again. We've been having picture-postcard weather, which is great for taking photos: not necessarily good news for crops. Still, it could be worse: Folks in Texas are not having a good year.

U.S. Drought Monitor. (map adapted from The Drought Monitor, National Drought Mitigation Center, Lincoln, Nebraska, used w/o permission) Tuesday, September 6, 2011.

Folks took care of the worst of that July 10th storm's cleanup as soon as the wind and rain let up, or the day after. I've seen tarps over a few roofs: good enough, I trust, to get the homeowners through winter, giving them time to work out finances for a more permanent patch.

Jitters Java, downtown, is one of the business with storm-stressed signage. They've got a pretty good temporary fix set up: a sort of easel at the bottom of the sign's apparently-undamaged mast.

Jitters Java sign: 'some assembly required.. September 9, 2011.

Our Lady of Angels' Gospel Book hasn't been replaced. I don't know how long that'll take. The things can't be cheap: but of all the useless things to steal - - - who's going to buy the thing intact? The book's gold cover is real: but the gold was a thin layer of anodized gold, no more than a few microns thick. I doubt it'd be worth the trouble, trying to scrape the metal off.

Oh, well: we're getting by okay. This morning I learned that for the time being the church will be unlocked during weekday mornings and afternoons: nice for folks who'd been in the habit of stopping in.

Today's the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. New York City's put on an event for the occasion. We're not New York City: Our observances have been more along the lines of flags at half-staff.

Our Lady of Angels, Labor Day Sunday. September 4, 2011.

That's what I've got for this week. See you next Sunday!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

(Unofficial) Last Day of Summer, Theft from Church

Sunday, September 4, 2011. This is going to a short entry. I've had a big week: but not much of it had to do with Sauk Centre.

We're in the middle of Labor Day Weekend, the unofficial end of summer. It's been one of those nearly-perfect days: not particularly hot, and clearish skies. Except when it rained.

Our Lady of Angels, Labor Day Sunday. September 4, 2011.

There was something missing this morning at Our Lady of Angels church. Someone stole the Gospel Book, and the votive candle money. The loose-change-plus-bills in the candle boxes doesn't hurt all that much. The Gospel Book? I'll miss that. (More, in "Loving Our Neighbors: Even the One Who Stole the Gospel Book," A Catholic Citizen in America (September 4, 2011))

Now we have to start locking the church when it's not in use. This is the second time something's been stolen. Disappointing.

The good news is that nobody got hurt.